Fly on multiple walls

If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

Well there is the day I was born, for one. Further than that? OK, how about the Great Depression? I’m pretty sure I can learn a couple of money saving housekeeping tips from those ladies. You want me to go back even further? How about the day Jan van Riebeeck first set foot in Cape Town and the first Dinner and Dance they held at the castle? What a day that must have been!

Point is, there are so many moments in history that I would love to see happen right there in front of me, but right now I have something else in mind.

Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by royalty. Not because I would want that lifestyle, no thank you. It all started with Lady Di – her shy smile, compassion for humanity and gentle defiance of the rules and regulations. I’ve always wondered about them, the royalty that is. They are after all only human. They get runny noses and ingrown toenails, they have to shave and use the toilet. I guess if you are born into it like Princes Harry and William, you get used to it, but I still pity them. I mean really, they will never know what it is like to have a “normal” life.

What do they get up to? Do they ever “let their hair down” behind closed doors or are they truly that prim and proper from morning to night? What does the Queen do when she’s “home alone”, apart from the servants and butlers and cleaners and chamber maids and so on. How do they talk to each other? I can’t quite see Prince Phillip go “Top of the morning to ya, man did I have gas last night!” What do they have for family dinners and what do they discuss? Do they ever get take-outs? Do they ever talk about normal stuff like ingrown toe nails? Are the children ever allowed to play in the mud and do they become naughty too? How do they argue or make love – do they have protocol for that too? Do they ever go to the kitchen on a whim to make a cup of hot chocolate and then sit down in front of the fireplace in PJ’s to read a book?

I certainly don’t envy them. Sure it would be nice to never have to do the dishes or laundry again. It would definitely be nice to have someone do the shopping for you and to have a hairdresser and manicurist and personal shopper and massage therapist at your disposal. Would I want to trade my freedom as such for all the benefits? No thanks! I would much rather have my personal freedom and the ability to make my own decisions intact as opposed to having all the luxury that goes with the title. I can choose the spend a Saturday in my PJ’s, eating pizza and watching movies with Luke and Jacques and that is exactly how I like it!

Right now, and for the next month or so, I would simply love to be a fly on the wall in London. I’d love see whether the Duchess of Cambridge also suffer from pre-natal anxiety about her mothering abilities. I’d love to see whether the Duke of Cambridge will go green around the mouth and pass out when the baby is born. I’d love the see that millisecond of a moment when they are reduced to pure human emotion when they first hold their baby in their arms. I’d love the see whether the Queen will pace the halls of Buckingham Palace while anxiously (does she even get anxious?) waiting for the news that the baby was delivered and have all 10 fingers and toes. I’d love to see the Pyjama Drill! Will the Duke and Duchess get up to change nappies and feed baby, or will someone do it for them? That is an integral part of the bonding process, how will they handle that? I think Kate, like Diana, will be gently defiant of the protocol and raise the baby with a sense of “normality”, but I think it will still be a difficult task.

It should be fun to be on the inside of that circle for a while. Perhaps I should check for vacancies? Or better, I could offer to be ghost-writer for the royal baby – capturing every moment in print! Hey, I’ll even change nappies in exchange! Just saying…


Is being “normal” — whatever that means to you — a good thing, or a bad thing? Neither?

What is normal? Is it the fairy tale white picket fence with all the trimmings? The sad reality is that normal hardly ever pans out the way we pictured it. My perception of normal might differ drastically from yours. Heck, my perception of normal might differ from year to year. Normal is very much based on past experiences and where we want to go.

Normal is going to school and getting good grades. Kids, more often than not, despise a schooling system designed to teach them not to question, not to think for themselves. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. I don’t want normal for my kiddo. The normal that I strive for is one where we can travel, learn about earth, it’s inhabitants and life – home schooling, that should be normal.

Most of us – me included – are stuck in a job (just over broke) we don’t really like. Why? Fresh out of school we are forced to get a job, to make ends meet. The result? Somewhere between 30 and 40 we realize that this is not what we had in mind for our lives. We have frustrated and depressed adults who commit suicide, family murders, adultery, divorcées, alcoholics and drug addicts. Everything just to get a sense of excitement, to get free from the clutches of normality. Kids should be given the opportunity to spend at least two years after school discovering themselves and what they want. True, these things will change as they grow older, but at least they will have a bit of a head start in the sense that they will be able to develop their passion from an early age.

With the divorce rate what it is, normal unfortunately is to grow up in a broken household. Thirty years ago it was almost unheard of for people to get divorced. Today it is the norm and when we hear of people who have been married for 25, 30, 40 years, we gasp and ask: what is the secret. That should be the norm! There should be a law banning anyone from getting married or having kids before the age of thirty. At least by then they will have overcome insecurities and really know what type of person they want to spend their life with. Granted there are some high school sweethearts who marry and 30 years later they are still madly in love. Sadly though, they are the minority.

Emotional intelligence and the ability to express it
Now here is one that I have the biggest problem with. Cowboys don’t cry! Know that saying? Well it’s utter nonsense! Please, I beg you, if you have a son, don’t tell him not to cry! From an early age kids are forced into a stereo type of behaviors and actions, forcing them to hide what they are feeling because they have to live up to a certain standard set forth by their sexuality. So what if a girl likes to ride bikes, shoot arrows, play in the dirt or kick around a ball! So what if a boy loves teddy bears or become emotional over a sad movie! Seriously!!! If boys were not supposed to cry or experience emotions, God would have created them without tear ducts or a frontal lobe in charge of emotion! Let the boy cry for Pete’s sake. What’s the worst that can happen? OK, he might grow up to be a sensitive human being, able to understand and communicate emotion in a healthy way. O no (gasp) anything but that! What would become of the world!?

If normal means going to school, getting a qualification, getting a job, getting married and living happily ever after, I want no part of it. I’ve had it and it did not turn out to be as magical is it is made out to be.

My normal is a work in progress. I will let you know how it pans out.